There’s nothing more frustrating for a player than seeing the winning symbols on the reels in the wrong combination! This is all part of the game; near misses spur you to play on, but sometimes getting nothing out of your bet can be discouraging. Thus, casino developers are constantly hard at work trying to come up with innovative ways to turn those near misses into big winnings.

Perhaps one of the most widely used formats now is the 243 Ways format, which eliminates paylines, this has been expanded on with larger reel grids for 1024 ways to win and more! An even better solution to every player’s woes is the idea of rotating reels, a truly special feature which allows you to score wins in every direction imaginable in one single spin.

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What are Rotating Reels?

Rotating reels doesn’t form part of your standard gameplay, in fact even for experienced slot players this is a very new and unusual slot game feature. It typically comes into effect during the bonus round. In other words, it is something you expect to see as a secondary bonus to a free spins round or other feature as a way to earn you even more money.

The feature helps deliver bigger and more frequent wins by rotating a full 360 degrees following each free spin, stopping every 90 degrees to form new winning combinations from the moving symbols. When activated, this function kicks off with a normal spin and prizes awarded as per normal. After that, the screen rotates 90 degrees creating new paylines. A second turn generates some more combinations followed by a third and fourth revolution which do the same. The game will then automatically go back to its original position for your next spin.

What this feature does is quadruples your winnings as you’re hitting and winning the same paylines in four directions as the reels rotate, moving all over the grid from side to side and top and to bottom of the layout.

Benefits of This Feature

The advantages of this feature are clear to see as every spin carries the potential to reap big prizes. Piling the same symbol on the screen will produce wins in every direction. You’ll also win four times as much money with this feature than you would with normal spins.

Moreover, this feature adds a whole new level of excitement to the game making it even more fun to play. You’ll find that your eyes will wander all over the screen in search of possible winning combinations. It’s easy to be surprised by a win when there are a lot of scattered symbols that may or may not fit into your paylines once they rotate around. Who doesn’t love surprise winnings?

The Downside of This Feature

Rotating reels can never be worse than a normal spin. However, like all game features, this one also has its disadvantages (casinos don’t want you running off with ALL their money!)

Seeing as this is only a feature activated during free spins games (at least for the time being), during the majority of the game, the shifting reels are simply alluring and not an actual part of gameplay. Once you’re awarded these special spins, it’s very possible to get nothing out of your bet. The odds of forming combinations are increased but the rotations clearly do not guarantee prizes.

Finally, this bonus feature might not be everyone’s cup of tea as some players may find it ‘gimmicky’. Other prizes like free spins or a multiplier of their winnings might be more to their liking.

Where to Play

Rotating reels is such a fresh concept that not many games have adopted this design. In fact, only a handful of games have made use of this feature. The popular Gods of Giza slot developed by Genesis gaming introduced rotating reels to online slots back in 2015. In my opinion they really hit the nail on the head back then in the way they incorporated this function. Despite being so well-known, I think the Egyptian theme let the game down as it has been done to death in the industry and it definitely doesn’t surpass Novomatic’s famous Book of Ra.

A more current game which makes fine use of a rotating grid is Sweet Emojis by Booming Games which will really appeal to younger players or those who spend a lot of time with free to play social media games. This 4 reel 16 payline emoji-themed slot will definitely take you through different stages of merriment with its free spins and rotating reel action. In this sweet game the rotator function is triggered when two or more Special symbols appear anywhere on the reels. Here, the number of symbols on the screen affects the number of 90 degree turns awarded. Three Specials trigger two rotations and four or more of these icons generate three. Another bonus is that after one rotate, the Special symbol behaves like a Wild completing winning paylines until all rotations are complete.

Gods of Giza, on the other hand, awards the player with four 90 degree turns during the bonus round offering potential new lines with each rotation. This happens when three or more Scatters take their place on the reels and trigger eight free spins. Only after each free spin will the reel window rotate to create new paylines every time, if you’re lucky enough.

This feature is a pretty easy one to grasp and makes for a very profitable and exciting bonus round which most players will like. It’s a shame that it’s not very common. Hopefully in the future more game designers will make use of this fun feature, as it’s an non-obtrusive concept which raises the odds in your favour and has the potential to award massive wins.